2004 Minnesota Twins season

2004 Minnesota Twins
AL Central Champions
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) Carl Pohlad
General manager(s) Terry Ryan
Manager(s) Ron Gardenhire
Local television KSTC-TV/KSTP-TV
FSN North
(Bert Blyleven, Dick Bremer)
Local radio 830 WCCO AM
(Herb Carneal, John Gordon, Dan Gladden, Jack Morris)
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The 2004 Minnesota Twins met their goal of three-peating as American League Central Division champions. The team was able to do this in spite of several new players and the absence of three former all-stars. Closer Eddie Guardado, set-up man LaTroy Hawkins, starter Eric Milton, and catcher A. J. Pierzynski had all been dealt prior to the beginning of the season, while first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz was traded midway through the season. The season had both highs – such as Johan Santana winning the Cy Young Award – and lows, such as highly anticipated rookie catcher Joe Mauer injuring his knee and playing for only 35 games. For the second year in a row, the team was not able to carry its regular season success into the post-season. The New York Yankees eliminated the Twins for the second year in a row in four games in the 2004 American League Division Series.


Spring training

The Twins posted a 20–10 record in spring training, the best of any major league team in 2004.[2] This includes split-squad games but not ties or exhibition games.

Regular season


For a playoff team, the offense was not strong. This was partly due to injuries and starters absent from the lineup. Lew Ford surprised many by batting .299 in his first full year in the major leagues. Free agent acquisition José Offerman saw a majority of time in the designated hitter spot, but hit only .256 with two home runs. Shannon Stewart did hit .304, but injuries limited him to 378 at bats. In 107 at bats, Mauer was able to hit .307. In his absence, catcher Henry Blanco hit only .206. First baseman Doug Mientkiewicz's hitting continued to decline, as he hit .246 with five home runs before being dealt to the Boston Red Sox.

Nine players hit ten or more home runs. When the Twins hit their record 225 homers in 1963, only eight players reached double figures.

Team Leaders
HRCorey Koskie25
RBITorii Hunter81
BALew Ford.299
RunsLew Ford89


Brad Radke was the opening day starter, but he was soon overshadowed by Johan Santana's Cy Young year. Radke, Santana, and Carlos Silva anchored the starting rotation. Unfortunately, Kyle Lohse had a bad year that saw his ERA balloon to 5.34, while the fifth spot in the rotation was nebulous. (41-year-old Terry Mulholland made 15 starts, while Seth Greisinger made nine.)

The Twins set their club record of 32 consecutive scoreless innings in June, which included back-to-back-to-back shutouts by Radke, Santana and Lohse.

In the bullpen, Joe Nathan blew everyone away during his first year as a closer at any level, earning 44 saves with a 1.62 ERA. Juan Rincón and J. C. Romero continued playing as excellent set-up men, while the rest of the bullpen was weaker. Romero set a Twins record by going 36 innings over 32 appearances without allowing a run to score.

Santana finished the year with thirteen straight wins without a loss, then went 1-0 with a no-decision in the American League Division Series. He set the Twins record with 265 strikeouts this season.

Team Leaders
ERAJohan Santana2.61
WinsJohan Santana20
SavesJoe Nathan44
StrikeoutsJohan Santana265


Blanco and Mauer (when he played) were solid catchers, both with .991 fielding percentages. Mientkiewicz was a one-time Gold Glove winner, but his successor Justin Morneau surprised people with his .995 fielding percentage. Luis Rivas was dependable at second base, while Cristian Guzmán could turn exceptional plays at shortstop. (It was the routine ones that fooled him.) Corey Koskie was defensively average, while the outfield quartet of Hunter, Jacque Jones, Shannon Stewart and Ford were solid – especially Hunter, who won a Gold Glove.

Season standings

AL Central W L Pct. GB Home Road
Minnesota Twins 9270 0.568 49–32 43–38
Chicago White Sox 8379 0.512 9 46–35 37–44
Cleveland Indians 8082 0.494 12 44–37 36–45
Detroit Tigers 7290 0.444 20 38–43 34–47
Kansas City Royals 58104 0.358 34 33–47 25–57

Record vs. opponents

2004 American League Records

Anaheim 6–34–55–44–57–27–05–45–410–913–76–19–104–57–11
Baltimore 3–610–92–43–36–06–34–55–140–77–211–85–211–85–13
Boston 5–49–104–23–46–14–22–411–88–15–414–54–514–59–9
Chicago 4–54–22–410–98–1113–69–103–42–77–24–26–33–48–10
Cleveland 5–43–34–39–109–1011–87–122–46–35–43–31–85–210–8
Detroit 2–70–61–611–810–98–117–124–34–55–43–34–54–29–9
Kansas City 0–73–62–46–138–1111–87–121–52–72–53–64–53–36–12
Minnesota 4–55–44–210–912–712–712–72–42–55–44–55–24–211–7
New York 4–514–58–114–34–23–45–14–27–26–315–45–412–710–8
Oakland 9–107–01–87–23–65–47–25–22–711–87–211–96–310–8
Seattle 7–132–74–52–74–54–55–24–53–68–112–57–122–79–9
Tampa Bay 1–68–115–142–43–33–36–35–44–152–75–22–79–915–3
Texas 10–92–55–43–68–15–45–42–54–59–1112–77–27–210–8
Toronto 5–48–115–144–32–52–43–32–47–123–67–29–92–78–10

Notable Transactions


2004 Minnesota Twins
Pitchers Catchers


Outfielders Manager


Post Season

The Twins entered and exited the postseason almost exactly the same as the previous season, losing to the Yankees, 3 games to 1. The Yankees would go on to be upset by the Boston Red Sox on their way to breaking the curse.

See 2004 American League Division Series.

Player stats


Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI


Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers

Player G W L SV ERA SO


Other post-season awards

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Rochester Red Wings International League Phil Roof
AA New Britain Rock Cats Eastern League Stan Cliburn
A Fort Myers Miracle Florida State League Jose Marzan
A Quad Cities River Bandits Midwest League Kevin Boles
Rookie Elizabethton Twins Appalachian League Ray Smith
Rookie GCL Twins Gulf Coast League Riccardo Ingram



  1. A. J. Pierzynski Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
  2. "MLB Spring Training Standings – 2004". ESPN. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  3. https://www.baseball-reference.com/m/mientdo01.shtml
  4. Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007
  5. Baseball America 2005 Annual Directory
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